March 4, 2008

On Owen

Since he's entered his fourth week of life, it's probably about time I tell you a little about Owen. If it's not already clear, he's suffering from Second Child Syndrome. You know, the condition in which second children learn to fend for themselves and get their pictures taken about 10% as much as the first kid.

The most amazing thing is that Owen - even early in his life - is vastly different from Mia. Owen is laid back; Mia was not. Mia was pretty uptight in fact. Owen is relaxed about life outside the womb. Owen also sleeps. This one is key because, until she turned two, Mia didn't do much sleeping. Instead, she cried. Neither Beth nor I found that nearly as relaxing. We like Owen's approach. Sunday night, for instance, he slept for 7 hours straight. We were amazed.

Owen has just started to look around and take in his world. He's particularly interested in ceiling fans but is also a fan of dim lights, pictures on walls and Beth's boobs. My boobs have turned out to be far less interesting, perhaps because they're not nearly as multi-functional as Beth's. I don't blame him. I prefer Beth's boobs to mine too.

Mia continues to love her brother profoundly and absolutely. She is fascinated with him and wants nothing more than to hold him, kiss him and hug him. When he cries, Mia says, "Listen! Owen must be crying for me. I must go see him!" We've actually had to pry her off him. So far, we've got all the love and none of the jealousy. We expect the other shoe to drop any minute. But we're loving the calm before the storm.

Owen's eyes are blue. His brown hair sticks straight up, especially after he's had a bath. His fingers and toes are tiny and grab anything within reach. He makes funny little noises, the way all babies do. He looks like a tiny grumpy old man much of the time, especially when he cries but occasionally I can catch a glimpse of exactly what he's going to look like in ten years. And he's beautiful.

Parenting two kids is a study in contrasts. When Owen holds my finger, I look at his little hands and realize how tiny he is. And when I scoop Mia up in a tickle-fight, I realize how much she's grown. Owen's my little man but Mia's no longer my baby girl. I love the fact that Mia and I have long conversations about the Backyardigans, musical instruments and sandwiches. I love that level of interaction. But I missed babies more than I thought I did.

I still can't believe I'm a father...of two.

Posted by Chris at March 4, 2008 7:02 AM
Comments

Isn't it amazing how two children with the exact same contributing genetics can turn out so completely different? In our case, our kids are flip-flopped of yours - my first was so so mellow, my youngest? She's the anti-sleeper, the drama queen, this goofy contradictory high energy ball of fun.

I figure it's nature's way of evening things out - you guys definitely got your share of sleeplessness with Mia - and the powers that be (Whatever they may be) figured to change things up on you and give you what you didn't expect.

It's cool, I think. I spent several years getting to know The Princess (my 5-1/2 year old), and then Pumpkin was born and I got to not only learn about someone else, but learn more about my oldest in terms of what kind of sibling she is...

It never EVER ceases to amaze me that these people came from me and my husband, and watching them grow is really a gift (Oh my hell, I'm in a mush mood today. Must. Go. Hug. Kids).

Posted by: sarah at March 4, 2008 7:09 AM

You know with your second child, you are more relaxed because, well you think, been there, done that, and nothing really phases you.
My second was my easy child. She slept, she smiled, she cooed and laughed so much earlier than Amanda had. And Amanda never did feel jealous of her. I always felt very blessed and I think you are too.

Posted by: Maribeth at March 4, 2008 7:54 AM

Interesting, isn't it, how two children with the same parents can be so different? And how, with the second baby, you realize their personalities/quirks so much faster than you did the first time because you're already familiar with baby-ness?

I never thought I wanted two kids. But now, I wouldn't trade the second one for the world. (or the first one, either. just wanted to make that clear...)

Posted by: Alissa at March 4, 2008 8:08 AM

I'm very pleased to hear that Owen is taking a different approach to life outside the womb. I'm FFWD 2 years, and although I love love loved my babies, I love my little kids even more.

Posted by: Brad at March 4, 2008 8:33 AM

I wonder if boy babies like boobs more, just instinctively. (Probably not but it was just a though) I don't know but when my husband brings the boy around, he calls me Boobs Mcghee. And my son gets way excited.

It's definitely going to be interesting having a second kid; for all those same reason: less pictures, letting them do more on their own, etc.

But seriously, I think I speak for all your readers when I ask for just a few baby pics? :)

Posted by: claire at March 4, 2008 8:34 AM

You can't believe your a father of two?

Neither can we Chris, neither can we! ;)

Posted by: Jeff A at March 4, 2008 8:46 AM

Aww. I could do with some more Owen pictures, too. It's nice to hear that Mia's still into the big sister gig. I was a bit worried because when I became a big sister I was NOT amused.

Posted by: Fraulein N at March 4, 2008 8:49 AM

Oy! Just wait until they are older and you sit there with a half-broken heart wondering where your babies went - while at the same time being amazed by the glimpses of the adults you know they will soon be. Parenthood truly is amazing.

Posted by: Traci at March 4, 2008 8:53 AM

Posts like these make me want a baby.

In a few years.

Posted by: Dani at March 4, 2008 9:00 AM

Mia has taught you a ton about parenthood and now Owen is reaping the benefit of your knowledge. Mia broke you all in real good for her brother!

Posted by: Steff at March 4, 2008 9:40 AM

Gah!! I miss that stage of having little kids. Especialy babies!

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen at March 4, 2008 9:42 AM

This was so sweet ... it makes me feel better about the possibility of having a second child.

Thanks for the reminding me of the sweetness, and giving me hope that #2 *might* sleep better than #1.

Posted by: moo at March 4, 2008 9:48 AM

My son is 6.5 and my daughter is 1.5. I have yet to see any jealousy. He loves her to PIECES!!! (vice versa)

Posted by: Holly at March 4, 2008 9:54 AM

I had to smile at that last line... There are times I look at my kids-all 3 of them, and even though my youngest is 8, I still have that moment of wonderment. I am really a parent of 3 kids.

Enjoy those baby times. They truly do go by all too quickly.

And I really think you need to correct that 2nd child syndrome and take more pictures.

Posted by: karen at March 4, 2008 9:57 AM

My cousin has 3 and there has been absolutely no jealousy (5, 2, 7 mos.). They play with each other, love each other, and dote on the sister (2) like she is the princess. Hopefully, yours will continue the same way.

Posted by: Krush at March 4, 2008 9:58 AM

Seeeee? I knew you could do it! Yay. :)

Posted by: Poppy at March 4, 2008 10:12 AM

I ignore the Second Child Syndrome. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, man! Post some pictures of that boy! I need an Owen-fix.

Posted by: GreenCanary at March 4, 2008 10:28 AM

Ahh, yes. I recall that I took pictures of every clothing change, move, facial expression and about every hour while asleep with Morgan. But things get a little hectic when the others come along.

It's entirely possible that the other shoe won't drop for many, many years. My kids never had the jealousy gig.

They are now 12, 11 and 9. There's a little bickering of "get out of my personal space", but for the most part, they still take very good care of each other.

I'm home on leave and it blows me away how much they've changed in just 10 months!!! My daughter is as tall as I am!!!

http://s86.photobucket.com/albums/k87/Sichernde/

Posted by: Holly Selden at March 4, 2008 10:37 AM

Parenting is great when given the chance.

I'm so glad to see that you are enjoying your children.

Have fun. They're interesting at all ages.
Cas

Posted by: cassie-b at March 4, 2008 10:44 AM

He looks like a tiny grumpy old man much of the time, especially when he cries but occasionally I can catch a glimpse of exactly what he's going to look like in ten years. And he's beautiful.

What a beautiful sentiment.

Posted by: Michelle at March 4, 2008 10:56 AM

Where are the pictures of the kid? I am dying here!

Posted by: goodsnake at March 4, 2008 11:07 AM

Our second was waaaay more laid back than his brother... I think it has something to do with our attitudes about the subsequent one... we knew what to expect and didn't get worked up about much. I think they feel that.

As for the other shoe, it won't drop until he's awake more often than not, and interacting and sucking active attention away...

Posted by: ewe_are_here at March 4, 2008 11:41 AM

I'm really glad that you find Beth's boobs more interesting than yours, actually. Otherwise it could be kinda odd.

Posted by: Heather at March 4, 2008 1:37 PM

I see this frequently at work with the siblings we have... such polar opposites. I'm sure it's as clear to Mia and will be to Owen one day how much you love them both for their individualities.

Posted by: Kate at March 4, 2008 6:03 PM

I have been out of the loop as work seems to be taking over my ENTIRE life (no fun), so as a "What the heck has been going on with Chris" post, this is fantastic! I think it's neat how different Owen and Miss Mia are!

Posted by: Emily at March 4, 2008 7:04 PM

Believe it, Bucko. Ain't no goin' back now!

Posted by: Sphincter at March 4, 2008 9:41 PM

Not that you'd want to. I'm just being, you know, all Cowboy.

Posted by: Sphincter at March 4, 2008 9:42 PM

Lisa is getting the 10% photos too, LOL! Poor kid :)

Beautiful post Chris!

Posted by: Nadine at March 5, 2008 5:43 AM

Congratulations. I haven`t had time to pop in for a loooong time.

Enjoy the fatherhood:)

Posted by: Anette at March 5, 2008 8:51 AM

COngratulations, Chris! I haven't been on in ages...I just came to check to see if he had arrived yet! Duh, I'm like 4 weeks late! lol. Congrats again and I bet you make a wonderful father of two! That's great that Owen is laid back and relaxed!!

Posted by: Dawn at March 5, 2008 6:22 PM

COngratulations, Chris! I haven't been on in ages...I just came to check to see if he had arrived yet! Duh, I'm like 4 weeks late! lol. Congrats again and I bet you make a wonderful father of two! That's great that Owen is laid back and relaxed!!

Posted by: Dawn at March 5, 2008 6:22 PM

COngratulations, Chris! I haven't been on in ages...I just came to check to see if he had arrived yet! Duh, I'm like 4 weeks late! lol. Congrats again and I bet you make a wonderful father of two! That's great that Owen is laid back and relaxed!!

Posted by: Dawn at March 5, 2008 7:07 PM

COngratulations, Chris! I haven't been on in ages...I just came to check to see if he had arrived yet! Duh, I'm like 4 weeks late! lol. Congrats again and I bet you make a wonderful father of two! That's great that Owen is laid back and relaxed!!

Posted by: Dawn at March 5, 2008 7:07 PM

You are such a good writer...reading your family blogs almost always brings a lump in my throat.

Posted by: NM at March 6, 2008 12:03 PM

Chris, I think I can say for all of us that we all prefer Beth's boobs to yours.

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